Daveen Rae Kurutz
Friday Oct 12, 2018 at 4:00 AM
BEAVER — If medical marijuana wants to come to Beaver, officials know where it can go.
Beaver Council this week directed solicitor Garen Fedeles to create a zoning ordinance to dictate where a medical marijuana dispensary could be located in the borough. The facility would be restricted to the Commercial Gateway West district, which stretches from Sassafrass Lane to Oak Street. It’s the same area where breweries and other entertainment venues are restricted to.
The two-block district is home to about 11 parcels of property, according to a zoning map from the borough’s website.
“We don’t have anything on the books, so the borough wants to put something together to know where it can go,” Borough Manager Dan Madgar said. “We haven’t had any inquiries; we just wanted to make sure we have somewhere it’s allowed.”
Under Pennsylvania’s zoning laws, if there isn’t a specific zoning use set up in a community, the establishment can operate in any part of the community. That could be a problem if a medical marijuana dispensary were to set up shop along Third Street, in the heart of Beaver’s business district.
“We know with the growth in the industry, they’re coming to the area,” Madgar said. “If they want to come here, that’s fine, but we want to have some limitation. Right now, they could go anywhere.”
Madgar likened a dispensary to a doctor’s office, with a need for parking and handicap accessibility. That would be difficult to provide in that part of the borough.
“It’s a busy business district with parking,” Madgar said. “Parking is tight on the main street.”
There are five medical marijuana dispensaries in southwestern Pennsylvania, one each in Butler, Washington and Fayette counties and two in Allegheny County. The